Have you just received your degree in web design and development? Have you been working for a web design company and now you want to go your own way? Whenever you decide to work on your own, one of the toughest issues that you can face is reaching new clients.

All your efforts to create your own online business will be in vain unless you can build your own client base. Wondering how to attract a wider audience to your business and keep them coming back? Let's take a look at the 5 most popular techniques that web designers and developers can make use of when they are getting started.

1. Web Studios Catalogue

This is a place where TemplateMonster has gathered together all the web design studios and freelancers who have high levels of expertise in working with the company's ready-made themes. Known as one of the leading providers of quality, pre-designed website templates, the company boasts a collection of over 25,000 themes for any CMS purpose imaginable.

With the intention of ensuring that their clients who purchase website templates with be provided with quality customization services, the company launched a Certification Center. This is a place where web design beginners can learn the basics, and professionals can broaden their client base.

How does it work? As a freelancer or a web design studio, you are asked to pass a quiz that will check your knowledge and level of expertise working with pre-built themes from TemplateMonster. Once you complete it successfully, you are listed on the Web Studios Catalogue page, which is accessible to all of TemplateMonster's clients.

The Catalogue includes advanced filters, making it possible for users to search for a web design studio that is located nearby. There is also an option to filter all studios based on the type of CMS they work with. The more projects a freelancer/studio has launched, the higher they rank on the chart, and the higher the chances of getting hired.

Moreover, everyone who is listed on the chart has an opportunity to create their own profile. The profile page can be uploaded with a brief company history, a list of the latest projects, contact details, etc. This is also a place where TemplateMonster and fellow customers can leave a review of a specific studio.

2. Freelance Marketplaces

This is one of the most proven ways to find new clients. On freelance marketplaces, you can create your own profile where all of your skills will be listed. With most such sites being free to join, those marketplaces that charge fees will most likely provide both smaller pools to choose from as well as jobs of higher quality. Freelance marketplaces are also the place to find short-term jobs. If that's what you are looking for, then you can apply for a job over there.

Here are just a few of the most popular freelance marketplaces that you can opt for:

3. Use Social Media

This may seem like quite an obvious tip, but being an active social media user means that you can broaden your business reach by offering free publicity. In the contemporary world, you will rarely find someone who doesn't use social media.

There are plenty of social networking platforms to choose from. You can pick those that match your business aims the most. You shouldn't necessarily create an account on all of them at the same time.

When selecting a social media platform, think about the goals that you have:

  • If you are a web designer and want to showcase your creative works in public, then Pinterest with its boards will be your best choice.
  • Those of you looking for a place to network with peers, potential clients and partners should opt for LinkedIn. This is a powerful tool for building strong relationships. This is a place where you can build a profile rich with keywords and remain active and engaged. Professional and business-related content has the best potential here.
  • Facebook is great for more relaxed, laid-back content. This is a place where you can combine both fun content with inspirational and business-related pieces of data.
  • Twitter is a good choice for those businesses looking forward to keeping users aware of the current state of things with short, snappy updates.
  • Instagram is more about fun content, catchy videos, and memes. This is a perfect place to keep users entertained and engaged.

When launching a social media account, think about your branding and the tone that you are going for. If you strive to look more serious and professional, then LinkedIn is your choice. If you want your brand to look more edgy and hip, then Instagram and Twitter are the way to go.

Additionally, to grow your business reach and find new clients, you need to join groups that are related to your business niche and the kind of products/services that you provide.

Running a social media profile doesn't mean sharing promotional content all day and night. It's about establishing long-lasting, friendly relationships with the audience, communicating with people, answering questions, running polls, etc. By being an active social media user and connecting with users on a regular basis, you will soon see the results come to you.

4. Create Killer Content

Content is king. Using a well-written piece of content will help you build your credibility as a person who knows a lot about web design and development. A properly SEO-optimized post automatically boosts your chances of getting noticed in popular search engines.

You can share posts on your blog or opt for guest posting. The latter suggests that you share your publications on web resources that work in the same industry as you. A well-written, relevant post can do wonders for boosting a client base.

If you decide to create your own content, there are several options that can help you grow your brand's online reach and boost public interest in what you have to offer. In addition to publications on your web resource and guest blogging, you can opt for:

  • podcasts
  • videos
  • interviews
  • infographics
  • email newsletters
  • any other form of presenting data to the online community in a way that makes you look both credible and helpful.

5. Do Free Things

How can this four-letter word help with reaching new clients and boosting revenue? By providing certain products and services for free, you can attract crowds of new clients, who will, later on, turn into your loyal fan base. This is a trick that many freelancers and startups opt for when they are first starting to build their follower base.

Offering some of your services for free is a proven way to get long-term clients. For example, if you develop website templates, you can create a few freebies just to let the users take a look at what's stored under the hood.

Many such freebies include functionality that is very much similar to premium products, yet provides fewer modification options than paid offerings. Whenever a person tries a freebie and enjoys it, they will most likely want to attain more explicit and professional functionality. This is when they will opt for a premium item from your collection.

The trick works best for users who are new to your business. It's also great to use for startups and sole entrepreneurs who are taking their first steps in the industry.

Drawing a Line

Whatever you choose, do not be afraid to act. Whether you have found only a few clients or a dozen, do your work well. Do not be afraid of experiments. Create branded social media profiles, optimize your written content, try to get on the Web Design Studios Catalogue, and see what works best for you.

If you are creating great work and provide top-notch services, then there is no reason why you shouldn't get new clients. Simply help them reach you by making your business more accessible.

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Originally published Jan 1, 2018 11:50:50 AM, updated October 18 2019